i was convicted in 1992. arrested in 1991. oh, wow, that's a long time ago! how long have you been home? 30 days. >> reporter: the cliche is that prisons are schools for scoundrels. but during his time behind bars, cardenales seems to have become, quite literally, a different man. if many of us outside could be tipped to violence by extreme circumstance, he appears to have been tipped the other way, by the bard college prison program. just two years out of jail, cardenales is a rising middle manager at an electronics recycling company in westchester county, n.y., making $80,000 a year. he's proof that a liberal education in prison, or at least bard's degree, can pay off. moreover, says his boss, he represents a hidden national economic resource just begging to be tapped.